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The New Fast Food: Our Top Picks

More choices make it easier to eat out healthfully

From the WebMD Archives

Jack (from Jack in the Box), Dave (from Wendy's) and the Colonel (from KFC) must stay up nights thinking of new foods to add to their menus, because each new year brings more fast-food options.

Some of the products come and go as quick as you can say, "McLean Deluxe." But others, like Homestyle Chicken Strips, stay around and become permanent fast-food fare. I remember the day when the nugget had no chicken competition.

There have been so many changes at the major fast-food chains this year that I can hardly keep up! Lots of salads are now available, and there are a few more sandwiches and wraps to choose from. Even the die-hard pizza chains are making changes -- there's a "skinny" crust at Round Table Pizza now.

Just so we all know what's out there now, I went through the fast-food nutrition guides, made a few phone calls, and rounded up some of the newer items that have some nutritional merit. Take a look, and the next time you drive through one of these fast-food chains' windows, you might have something new to look forward to!

McDonald's

New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
McVeggie Burger (in some areas)
350
8
20%
2
0
1,200
8
Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait (with granola)
160
2
11%
1
5
85
<1
Vanilla reduced-fat ice-cream cone
150
4.5
27%
3
20
75
0
*Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad
250
10
36%
4.5
85
930
3
*Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad
200
6
27%
3
70
820
3
*Grilled Chicken California Cobb Salad
270
11
36%
5
145
1,060
3
*California Cobb Salad (no chicken)
150
9
54%
4.5
85
410
3

*Salad information does not include dressing. To add 1/2 packet of low-fat balsamic vinaigrette, add 20 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat and fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, and 375 mg sodium. Beware of the creamy Caesar dressing, with 190 calories and 18 g fat per packet.

Continued

Burger King

New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
BK Veggie (made with reduced fat mayo)
330
10
27%
2
0
930
4
Fire-Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with Fat-Free Ranch Dressing
230
7
27%
3
50
1,280
2
Fire-Grilled Shrimp Caesar Salad with Fat-Free Ranch Dressing
220
10
41%
3.5
120
1,280
2
Fire-Grilled Chicken Garden Salad with Fat-Free Ranch Dressing
250
7
25%
3
50
1,290
3
Fire-Grilled Shrimp Garden Salad with Fat-Free Ranch Dressing
240
10
37%
3.5
120
1,270
3

KFC

New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
Oven-Roasted Strips Meal
420
7
15%
2.5
90
2,410
6
Oven-Roasted Twister Wrap without sauce
320
13
36%
4
60
890
0
Chicken breast, w/o skin or breading
140
3
19%
1
95
410
0
Honey BBQ Sandwich
300
6
18%
1.5
50
640
4
Chicken BLT Salad without dressing
220
7
29%
2.5
70
1,070
4
Chicken Caesar Salad without dressing
240
9
34%
5
70
1,020
3
Hidden Valley Fat-Free Ranch, 1 packet
40
0
0%
0
0
370
0
Hidden Valley Low-Fat Italian, 1 packet
40
0
0%
0
0
350
0

Wendy's

New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
Mandarin Chicken Salad w/crispy noodles, and Low-Fat Honey Mustard Dressing
370
8
19%
2
50
1,250
4
Taco Supremo Salad with salsa (no chips or sour cream)
390
16
37%
8
65
1,530
9
Hamburger Kids Meal with Mandarin oranges and diet soft drink
350
9
22%
3.5
30
650
2

NOTE: Do chicken strips beat nuggets in grams of fat and calories? Ten nuggets are about the same size as three chicken strips, but when you compare them ounce-for-ounce, home-style strips have a lower percentage of calories from fat, fewer calories, and less fat overall. Chicken strips get 39% of their calories from fat (19 grams per three strips, weight 159 grams), while nuggets have 57% calories from fat (28 grams per 10 nuggets, 150 grams weight).

Continued

Taco Bell

NOTE: Order the following items "Fresco Style."
New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
Grilled Steak Soft Taco
170
5
26%
1.5
15
560
2
Baja-Chicken Gordita
230
6
23%
1
25
570
2
Baja-Beef Gordita
250
9
32%
3
20
640
4
Chicken Burrito Supreme
350
8
21%
2
25
1,270
6
Chicken Enchirito
250
5
18%
1.5
25
1,230
5
Steak Enchirito
250
7
25%
2
15
1,220
6
Tostada
200
6
27%
1
0
670
8

Subway

NOTE: The nutrition breakdown for these sandwiches and salads does not include dressings or cheese.
New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
Mediterranean Chicken Salad
170
4.5
24%
2
55
520
5
*Mediterranean Chicken Sandwich
440
16
33%
5
60
1,170
5
*Carne Asada Sandwich
420
11
23%
1
80
1,400
4
Garden Fresh Salad
60
1
15%
0
0
80
5

* Information is for 6-inch sandwiches.

Jack in the Box

New Item
Calories
Total fat (g)
% calories from fat
Saturated fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Fiber (g)
Southwest Chicken Fajita Pita
240
3
11%
5
40
860
3
Asian Chicken Salad (no almonds or wonton strips), with 1/2 packet Asian Sesame Dressing
265
9.5
32%
1.2
25
510
6
Natural Cut Fries, small
270
12
40%
3
0
440
3
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